Arts & Leisure

Carmen’s Best highlights ice cream for the broken-hearted, alcohol-infused breakfast flavor

Posted on July 21, 2016

WHEN IT comes to heartbreak, while most men resort to drowning their sorrows in alcohol, women indulge in ice cream -- loads of it. That is the reason Paco Magsaysay, founder of Carmen’s Best ice cream, named one of his flavors “He’s Not Worth It.”

Samples of Carmen’s Best ice cream -- Camille Anne M. Arcilla
“There are a couple of girls I talked to; one said: ‘Naku, I kept on eating your ice cream when my boyfriend broke up with me. I kept on eating it the whole night, I had three pints,’” he said during a press launch this week.

“So I guess women eat our ice cream when they feel bad.”

He’s Not Worth It is a twist on the recipe for a Mississippi mudpie, with a dark, heavy, chocolate flavor mixed with nuts and fudge. Since its introduction last year, it has been one of the top selling flavors and has become known as the “ice cream for the broken-hearted.”

“I thought what flavor it should be. Well, it has to be chocolate. It has to be very rich,” he said.

Along with He’s Not Worth It, Carmen’s Best put the spotlight on four other flavors at the press launch on July 18, two of which are new.

“We are introducing two new flavors and highlighting the other three. When I say ‘highlight,’ it’s because some people don’t know those flavors actually exists,” said Mr. Magsaysay.

The new flavors are Vietnamese Coffee and Milk Tea, while the other featured ones -- aside from He’s Not Worth It -- are Turkish Baklava and Secret Breakfast.

The Vietnamese Coffee is made with a touch of condensed milk, just how the Vietnamese serve their coffee. Mr. Magsaysay said Carmen’s Best’s staff were trained on how to properly steep the coffee before combining it with the ice cream.

The Milk Tea flavor was born thanks to the craze a few years back for milk tea.

“Baklava is a pastry from the Middle East. It’s not a question,” Mr. Magsaysay quipped. Turkish baklava is made of layers of filo pastry with chopped nuts, sweetened and held together by honey.

Secret Breakfast, Mr. Magsaysay said, was based on his personal favorite, a top-selling flavor at the Humphry Slocombe ice cream parlor in San Francisco. It is an infusion of alcohol and cereals -- a tinge of bourbon with corn flake bits.

“All our flavors have a story. We don’t come up with something that has no connection to us,” he said.

But the real inspiration to his ice cream, however, is Mr. Magsaysay’s 18-year-old daughter, Carmen.

“We started five years ago, so we had the ice cream when she was 13. I remember a year after we incorporated Carmen’s Best, and that day when our family were having breakfast, I told her we named it after her,” he said. “She thought I was joking.”

Now Carmen’s Best has over 40 flavors. The difference between it and other mass-produced ice cream, Mr. Magsaysay said, is Carmen’s Best products are produced as ordered.

“When we went out of the market in February 2011, we [only] had four flavors available: Malted Milk, Butter Pecan, Salted Caramel, and Brazilian Coffee. We didn’t come out with the usual chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla because we wanted it to be different,” he said.

Carmen’s Best is available in most supermarkets in the country, and at some restaurants in Hong Kong. It is also served in business class of Philippine Airlines’ international outbound flights. -- Camille Anne M. Arcilla